Giving SEO The Credit It Deserves

A Thanks To SEO
A Thanks To SEO

SEO has been GOOD to me.  SEO has been GOOD to my clients. I have been doing this since the late 90s, and still no complaints…from anyone, not one.

Don’t compare us to lawyers, don’t try to tell us we are selling snake oil, and especially – I mean especially, don’t try to tell us our industry is dead (have you heard of Google?). We have heard it all before, and to be quite honest, we are getting bored of it. Seriously figure out something else to talk about in 2010. Please? Go link bait your agenda in some other industry.

The number one thing I learned in 2009 is that SEO IS NOT DEAD despite the claims. What a great year to be an Internet business owner. Am I right? When i looked all around my town this year, and saw small businesses closing up (supposedly because of the recession) I never feared about any of my stuff online not continuing to grow and prosper. SEO has been good to me, so when I hear about (or when I wasted my time reading) some ass hats link bait of why it’s dead it makes me wanna scream.


I often wish I had more time to blog in response to these idiots. Even more so, I wish I was a better blogger, but I am not – so guess what? I will just stick with taking care of my clients and growing my company (Its worked so far, pretty well too). Wow how do some of you bloggers do it? My hat is off to you! I barley get time to post every once in a great while, but I wanted to make sure I took this opportunity to THANK, NOT BASH SEO, and what it has done for me.

I implement an SEO strategy for every single one of my clients this year, in one of its forms. Call it what you want, blended search, mixed media, online marketing – again, who cares? If you are a good Internet marketer you already are aware of whats going on, and doing right for your clients.  (I am pretty sure it was) Danny Sullivan said it best “As long as there are search engines, there will be SEO”  (although I can’t remember exactly where)  So now, you try to tell me that because of social media, the rules about SEO have changed. The point of SM is relationship building and sharing of information is it not? Through that, you build links, get sites to rank for your name (example: if you are on Twitter and are active go Google your business name and tell me where Twitter is) and drive traffic. Hmm, sounds a lot like SEO to me. Getting YOU, Your Brand, or YOUR CONTENT to come up in the SERPs. But of course, none of this matters because SEO is dead …. right?

SEO is NOT Dead
SEO is NOT Dead

Looking forward to SEO in 2010

I am very excited to know what I know, and very excited to continue to use SEO in 2010. I look forward to continuing to help my clients businesses grow with SEO too. They have all thanked me this year, and are looking forward to another year just as good. A side note FYI, I helped a lot of my clients grow their businesses this year with out even an ounce of social media, or other forms of marketing. That’s right, just 100% SEO – good ole onsite and offsite SEO, link building etc.. Please, don’t get me wrong, if all the decisions were up to me, I would use every form of marketing available, but lets be honest with each other, some clients are just not ready to embrace it yet.

How to tell if SEO will not die in 2010?

  • Are you always going to need a properly coded site? (technical SEO)
  • Are you always going to need good content?
  • Do you want people to find your content?
  • Do you want people to find your images and videos?
  • Are you always going to need people linking to you?
  • Do you want people talking about your business?
  • Do you think you might use Google, Yahoo or Bing in 2010?

If you answered YES to all of these questions (which I dare any of you to tell me no) then YES, you will be using SEO in 2010.  There are so many posts that answer this better then I do with the bullet points above, so read them, but this post is to THANK SEO, I don’t need to defend it.  I know what its done for me.

This SEO IS DEAD debate is like a bad car wreck, everyone feels like they need to slow down and look at it, but they don’t really need to … do they? Move along, there is nothing more to see here (remember this can date back to 1997 – LOL).   Let’s hope 2010 brings more intelligent posts and conversation about SEO and Internet marketing, especially from people who should know better.

No, You Really Don’t Understand What I Do!

About a month ago I had a conversation with an old school mate that found me via Facebook. It has been about 14 – 15 years since I last spoke/saw/did anything with this guy. We mostly just talked about what I do for a living, but it was interesting for me to hear his thoughts and ideas about our industry (and how he thought he did the same thing for a living). I have to admit the conversation was a bit irritating, and I ended up having to tell my old friend I had to .  I  can’t remember the reason I gave him, but the real reason was I was two seconds away from losing it and really giving him a piece of my mind!

He made the comment that after seeing all of my Twitter updates, and Facebook status updates he really just didn’t understand what I did. He said he was trying to figure out what it was I did for a living. I told him that he should have looked at the URLs listed (this one included) on all my profiles, because tuld have been pretty self explanatory as to what I do.

I wish I would have saved the chat (because it was classic), but I didn’t …. so I am going to do my best to share it as it happened. Just so you know the conversation was much more then this, but this was the part that was most frustrating that I wanted to get into.

Here goes:

Him: So what exactly is it you do for a living?

Me: I explained to him that I co-own an Internet marketing firm which helps people who want to be found online. (I did not go into depth about SEO and everything else at this point)

Him: Oh, so you teach people how to use the Internet better? That’s kind of like what I do. (he does Internet hookup etc.) We help people get online and use the Internet.

Me: No, that’s not really what I do at all. I help online business owners be found for the keywords they want to be found for when people are doing searches online.

Him: Pretty much everyone has a website now huh? We help people get the Internet going and get them online .. etc. etc. so its the same thing right?

Me: (aggrivated) NO, I work with real actual business owners that want to be branded online, care about online reputation, want to be found for keywords etc. I went into much more detail, but this is the just of it, and I tried really hard to explain to him that some people may have a website but if they are not found, then what good does it do them? I gave the example – There might be 40 dentists in Gilbert Arizona that are online and have websites, but only a few of them are going to get the most traffic on Google when people search for phrases like “Gilbert Arizona Dentist”, and that is because only a few of them are going to be in the top results of the search engines that people will actually click on.

Him: OH, ok so you help people get and register their domain names with Google? And, You get people to the top of the Google results in those sponsored sections?

Me: (very aggravated now) No, that really is not what I do. Getting businesses into the sponsored results is a form of search engine marketing, but I really am more on the organic side of results. I go into explain what the difference between the PPC results and the organic results are …. walking him through some specific searches and showing results. (hoping he finally gets it)

Him: So really you are just helping people register their domain names on Google and other search engines?

Me: Yes, that’s “exactly” it ….. (quickly finds excuse to leave conversation as I know its going nowhere)

The reason I share this is because everyday I get asked the question; “What exactly is it you do?” This reminds me how brand new our industry really is, 2) it reminds me that we have a big opportunity to inform and help business owners, and 3) that there are a lot of people out there that think they are helping people “get online” and “registered” with Google, but really have no clue what Internet marketing is. We have to be the educators of this industry and be the part of this industry that gives it a GOOD name.

Could I have done a better job describing what Internet marketing is?

I thought I would take this question to my friends on Twitter. I want to see if maybe my Internet marketing friends can help answer this question (140 chars. or less) better then I could, so if my friend is reading this post – he just might learn something! Thanks to @brandonbuttars @atraine @AlanBleiweiss and @dan_patterson

What is Internet Marketing?
What is Internet Marketing?
  • Bringing visitors to the site.
  • Getting the website/business discovered.
  • Conversions – not just bringing visitors, but converting them
  • Using all marketing channels – SEO, SEM, SMO, PPC, Viral, etc.
  • Marketing strategy – how all strategies will be used on a site.
  • Online marketing objectives – what are the goals for the site?
  • Increasing traffic – more traffic = more sales (at least it should)
  • Converting traffic into sales – the bottom line here!

These bullet points (taken from answers above) should really spell out what Internet marketing is, and what we do for a living. If you are talking to someone about “just getting your domain registered” You are NOT talking to an Internet marketer. I should have had more patience with my friend and done a better job at “educating him.” Unfortunately, many people just DON’T seem to get it, but I did realize that it is my job to (try) educate people/businesses about our industry because it is so brand new. We have such a huge opportunity and major growth ahead of us. I for one am very excited to be a part of this industry!

I would love to hear other stories from those who can relate.  I think this could be a fun post if you were to share any similar stories that you may have had when talking with friends family or whoever!  Thanks in advance!

Now Is The Time To Take Advantage of Search Marketing

The Setting Resolutions Trend!

I have been reading a lot lately about marketing resolutions for 2009, and rather then share what mine are personally – or what my companies are – I thought I would give some insight as to what trends I am starting to see, and what I feel is going to be a businesses most important investment in 2009.

In the last month I have signed 4 pretty big clients, and each one of them has told me they see an opportunity online because of the slow down in the economy.  Whatever little they are doing online, they are seeing a ROI, and want to take things to the next level because they feel online is where its at.

All of my family and friends who are very aware of what I do for a living, keep asking me how things have been the last few months.  Keep in mind these are the same people who told me I was stupid when I quit my job, and went off on my own and left corporate America – they keep looking to say I told ya so rather then listen to me?  I kinda feel bad when I see everyone around me losing their jobs, and struggling to make ends meet, and I tell them that my business has never been better.

Why is that?

I embrace online marketing, I put big bucks into it, I spend nothing offline and I put every ounce of energy I have into learning/testing/implementing everything there is to know about Internet marketing.  I guess you can say – I feel that I am on the right team.

I had a chat with my brother the other day, and he was even telling me his very traditional company (when it comes to advertising) who has been putting 100k plus/month into print/offline marketing has finally opened up a bigger budget for online marketing in 2009 because they finally see the writing on the wall.  If only I could have only convinced them years earlier (and I tried) they would be leaps and bounds ahead of their competition.  I still feel its better late then never though, and that now is the time to take advantage of search marketing!

So I guess in sharing this insight with you I am also givine you my main goal of 2009, and that is to help businesses better understand the power of marketing online.  Shoemoney did a great post a while back talking about how when online marketing is done right – there is no recession.  You must learn to adapt, and change your business model and figure out a way to make money.  A good friend of mine made an analogy for me (with regards to his business) – he said:

“Mat, its like we have million dollar homes for sale in a market that only wants Condos and Town Homes.  So we have to figure out how to make a Condo, and Town Home product.”

He understands how to take advantage of down markets.  When everyone else is crying about sales being down, he knows what it takes to increase them.  When everyone else is crying about not making any money, he understands how to make his business money.  This is a sign of a true business owner – one that will make money no matter what the circumstances around him/her!

What are my thoughts on where you should be focusing your business resolutions? (in order of most importance)

  1. More money into Search Marketing – SEO, PPC etc.
  2. More focus on Reputation Management
  3. Branding
  4. Embrace Social Media – Learn it, use it, grow your business with it!

IMO – Maybe the most important resolution that businesses need to be making is the one that involves what they spend in online advertising.  I feel now is the time for business to be spending money, and putting money into their online marketing campaigns.  If you are making resolutions for your business, and figuring out budgets for 2009 – let me help you make your most important 2009 resolution – increase your online budget and finally start to embrace Internet marketing.  I can promise that if you do you will see a great ROI, even in a down turned economy!